Died Friday 17th September
Aged 4 years
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I had to take Coffee to the vet. She hasn't been well for some time - kept losing weight and wasn't her usual self. We thought it was because her teeth were growing too fast and preventing her from eating. These were trimmed, but she then got a cough and infection, which needed anti-biotics. She seemed better, but only put on a little weight. Recently she's had her teeth trimmed again, as they were getting long and she wasn't chewing properly. But even after this, she continued to lose weight.
Over the last few days I have been hand-feeding her with her favourite grapes, tomatoes and other nice things. She gradually got sadder and sadder and lost her enthusiasm for even her favourite foods. Today she refused to eat at all. I syringe-fed her with fruit juice and some baby food (banana and pear puree), but she just sat in a corner and shivered. It was clear she was really sick and wouldn't recover without urgent help.
So we went to the vet. Who said she had a tumour in her intestine, which was preventing her from eating.
She was beyond help - nothing I could do would save her.
The vet gave her some gas to make her sleepy and comfortable, then gave her an injection to humanely put her to sleep.
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Even after all these years of keeping guinea-pigs, I am still heartbroken whenever we lose one. These little creatures have such personality and are so sweet and friendly. It's not possible to keep them and not love them. Each small piggie has its own personality. Some have been cheeky, some funny, some made amusing noises - one of our piggies would squeak every time her foot touched the floor, like a little commentary on every step she took. Some are clever and some are not. I've had a piggie with an amazing sense of humour (!) and a real interest in humans as fellow beings. She loved to talk!
Coffee was cute, super-fuzzy, a bit cheeky. If you put a hand on top of her head, she'd butt your hand; she would shout for breakfast and chatter her teeth at you in appreciation. She came to you if you put your hand in her house and called her. She liked to be stroked and cuddled - she lay in your arms like a baby, on her back! She purred at you and nuzzled your hand. She was sociable with other guinea pigs too and stood up for her piggie-rights when it came to squabbles over the food dish. She had curly, fuzzy fur and her toe nails grew curly too. She was soft and so cuddly.
We loved her.
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